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The Singapore Airshow rarely ever turns heads in terms of aircraft orders, but it does play an important role in the world’s biggest growth market. Keith Mwanalushi reports

Industry data shows that the Asia-Pacific region is on its way to becoming the world’s largest aviation market, accounting for nearly 40% of the global fleet in 20 years.

This year’s show, held in February, had an impressive track record of attendance from high-level military and government delegations, leading industry players, airlines and airport operators from Asia and around the world. Some 600 companies from 50 countries showcased their latest innovations to close to 50,000 trade visitors from 150 countries and regions.

Unlike Paris or Farnborough, it’s not always about the magnitude of orders in Singapore but nonetheless it’s still a numbers game. The major OEMs are muscling in on aftermarket and services areas that have historically been outsourced to third parties and independent companies.

Boeing announced nearly $1 billion in services orders at the show – and that set the tone with other OEMs cashing in on aftermarket service deals.“Boeing is serious about helping customers optimise the performance of their fleets and reduce operational costs throughout the lifecycle,” said Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Global Services. “Predicted growth for aerospace services in the Asia-Pacific brings opportunities to partner with local industry to understand the region’s greatest needs, invest in new capabilities to meet those needs, and then bring them to market quickly.”

Agreements signed at the show stretch across Boeing Global Services’ four capability areas, including parts; engineering, modifications and maintenance; digital aviation and analytics; and training and professional services.

Over at Airbus, the European OEM reported that AirAsia Group has confirmed that its existing and future A320 and A330 fleet will be powered by Airbus’ Skywise predictive maintenance services. The scope encompasses AirAsia and AirAsia X’s fleets across all the subsidiaries in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Japan, Philippines and Indonesia.

AirAsia currently has around 230 aircraft in service. This is complemented with an order backlog of around 470 Airbus aircraft, which includes 66 A330neos and over 400 A320/A321neos yet to be delivered.

All these aircraft will thus become Skywise-enabled. The presence of all the major OEMs – despite the lack of orders – underscores the significant momentum in the Asia-Pacific region. Bombardier displayed a Philippine Airlines dual-class 86-seat Q400 regional turboprop, as well as an airBaltic CS300 aircraft.

“Passenger demand in the region is increasing fast, driving demand for more short haul aircraft, more flight frequencies and more city pairs to increase connectivity,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are confident our product line-up will continue to be instrumental in supporting intra-regional growth, as well as further protecting passenger yields in the region.” >>

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